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Murder suspect caught after nearly 40 years on the run

By Nadine El-Bawab,


A Florida man has been arrested for the alleged killing of 33-year-old Cynthia Wood nearly 40 years ago.

Donald Santini, 65, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals' Fugitive Task Force in San Diego and booked into jail on Wednesday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Wood's body was found in a water-filled ditch in Riverview, Florida, in June 1984, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

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She was last seen leaving her residence about five days before her body was found. The victim was last seen with Santini, according to the sheriff's office.

Autopsy results determined that her cause of death was strangulation, authorities said.

Santini had not been seen since the incident and police said he may have been in Texas using an unknown identity, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

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"We are aware of this arrest and have sent detectives to interview Santini, while we await extradition," the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a statement to ABC News. "This arrest allows us to reexamine evidence collected in 1984 using the technology of today, as the case is now considered open once again."

"While that process is underway, we want to protect the integrity of the investigation and can not release any further details," the sheriff's office added.

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